Furniture industry update with Jerry Epperson
Jerry Epperson, the renowned furniture industry analyst with 50 years of experience, and Mark Schumacher, CEO of the Home Furnishings Association, discussed the state of the furniture industry.
Jerry revealed what challenges your business will face in the second half of 2021, including the economy, supply chain, shifts in purchasing trends, and much more. Jerry’s insights will help you prepare for the rest of the year!
- Supply chain port situation is slowly improving but is still at least 6-9 months before things are close to normal.
- Shortage of drivers and loaders is not helping supply chain issues. Stimulus monies still influencing the lack of workforce.
- Inflation will be here for a long while because wages are going up and they will not come back down.
- Consumer demand is at the highest level since the 1970s.
- Consumer demand is a prime opportunity for retailers to raise their prices. Jerry says, “if we don’t increase our prices, we will always get less income when compared to other industries”.
- Over the decades, other industries have been raising consumer index double digits and the furniture industry remained in the single digits.
- The piece of the pie are we getting on consumer discretionary income is 1.6%
- Housing boom (24 months) will continue to drive demand
- Product categories that are continuously being improved are wood substitutes, power motion, medical chairs (message chairs), mattresses, office, ergonomic products, and other products that are innovating.
- There will continue to be a need for brick-and-mortar independent retailers in local markets, but you must have a digital presence to even out the eCommerce surge. Signage and website must be current and match in-store offerings. “If we’ve got it, you can have it” should be a prominent message.
Jerry Epperson – Founder and Managing Director, Mann Armistead & Epperson, Ltd.
Jerry is the head of his firm’s research efforts with more than forty years of experience in publishing research that focuses on demographics, consumer products, furnishings & mattresses (residential and contract), and related issues. More specifically, Jerry’s research in the furnishings & mattress industries is recognized worldwide for its in-depth coverage of suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. Jerry has also been acknowledged by several industries, research, and Wall Street associations for his coverage. On several occasions, Jerry has been requested by the U.S. State Department to travel to the Pacific Rim and Europe to assist those countries in understanding the furnishings & mattress industries.